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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Radiometry \Ra`di*om"e*try\ (r[=a]`d[i^]*[o^]m"[-e]*tr[y^]), n. (Physics) The use of the radiometer, or the measurement of radiation. -- Ra`di*o*met"ric (r[=a]`d[i^]*[-o]*m[e^]t"r[i^]k), a.


n. (context physics English) The branch of science that deals with the detection and measurement of radiant electromagnetic energy.


Radiometry is a set of techniques for measuring electromagnetic radiation, including visible light. Radiometric techniques in optics characterize the distribution of the radiation's power in space, as opposed to photometric techniques, which characterize the light's interaction with the human eye. Radiometry is distinct from quantum techniques such as photon counting.

The use of radiometers to determine the temperature of objects and gasses by measuring radiation flux is called pyrometry. Handheld pyrometer devices are often marketed as infrared thermometers.

Radiometry is important in astronomy, especially radio astronomy, and plays a significant role in Earth remote sensing. The measurement techniques categorized as radiometry in optics are called photometry in some astronomical applications, contrary to the optics usage of the term.

Spectroradiometry is the measurement of absolute radiometric quantities in narrow bands of wavelength.